Montgomery County works to bring internet to every citizen

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – Approaching the finish line — that was the theme of the day for one county project working to bring high-speed internet to rural communities in Montgomery County.

“Every unserved and under-served location is in the project,” said Michael Clemons, CEO of Gigabeam Networks.

In August, United States Senator Mark Warner told Virginians there is no excuse to not have internet access across the state soon.

“If everybody in Southwest Virginia doesn’t have broadband in the next two years, at an affordable rate, somebody screwed up,” said Senator Warner. “There is plenty of money out there.”

Montgomery County leaders, and their partners from Gigabeam and Appalachian Power, are working to keep this promise.

The goal is to connect every citizen no matter where they are located.

Officials said the pandemic proved broadband access is crucial in the 21st century.

“If we ever have to go through that again it would be basically a lifeline for everybody,” said Steve Fijalkowski, Montgomery County supervisor of District C.

They also said not having access can impact the local economy.

“By bringing it to their home, it will help a lot of small business operate out of their home and of course, that’s going to save them a bottom line,” said Fijalkowski.

The hope is that everyone will have high-speed, reliable internet by 2024.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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